’Hoos on the job
Graduates of the College find interesting jobs in interesting places.
Graduates of the College find interesting jobs in interesting places. Here’s a very small sample of the most recent alumni, who talk about what they do and how their time in Arts & Sciences prepared them to do it.
I’m doing M&A investment banking for Lazard in New York. Day to day, I spend most of my time either building financial models or gathering/analyzing qualitative information about a company and its industry. Meaningful, interesting projects and intelligent co-workers have helped to make the long hours satisfying. One of the most important skills one develops while at the University is the “ability to learn.” As a junior analyst, you’re faced with new concepts/challenges every day and are expected to grasp these things quickly. There’s a surprisingly large U.Va. contingent in the city. Having such a strong network of alumni has helped to smooth the transition from college to the “real world.”
• Brian Thorne
(Economics, Psychology ’04)
Lazard — New York, N.Y.
I knew I wanted to go into nonprofits after graduation. My first choice was to work for an organization focusing on reproductive health or sexual assault/domestic violence advocacy, but a wonderful job opportunity came up in Hawaii at an interesting organization, so I decided to take it! I have been living in Honolulu since September. I am the assistant to the director at a small nonprofit organization that works with international exchange students (mostly high-school age). We place them at schools and in home stays all over Hawaii and the mainland. I do a lot of event planning and working with the kids, as well as overseeing the office and handling the majority of communications. I am learning the ins and outs of running a nonprofit, which is wonderful because I definitely want to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector.
• Morgan Cosby
(Anthropology, Studies in Women and Gender ’04)
International hospitality center — Honolulu, Hawaii
I had never even considered broadcast journalism until interning at “NBC Nightly News.” I must admit, my collegiate news needs were primarily tended by the Cav Daily and Jon Stewart. In my Media Studies mind, TV news was a great medium to analyze and apply critical theory to, but it didn’t interest me beyond academics. The intensity and excitement of working at a news organization quickly changed my mind. No day is ever the same. I get to work on different stories each day, so there’s no time to get tired of a certain topic. There is a certain adrenaline rush that comes with working in a noisy control room during breaking news. I’ve become a complete news junkie. I’m addicted to scanning online papers, news wires and blogs. I frequently bombard my friends with emails of news items — customizing them to their interests. As national and world events unfold, I find it incredibly exciting to be among the first to know the details. Sometimes I feel like I never left college — I’m constantly reading, researching, double-checking. I live deadline to deadline, and somehow everything comes together at the last minute. It’s been a crash course in economics, history, politics and world events. And in my spare time, I still watch television like it’s my job.
• Amber Payne
(Media Studies, Studio Art minor ’04)
NBC Nightly News — New York, N.Y.
“Did you get to choose your eye color?” “Are you wearing a wig?” With blue eyes and curly brown hair and working in the rural area of western Japan, I often get asked seemingly silly questions like those. I work for the Japanese government trying to “internationalize” the community — a rather tall order. My duties here cover the spectrum: translating sightseeing pamphlets, chaperoning exchange programs, writing newspaper articles, organizing English conversation groups and teaching fourth-grade international education, among other things. I spent my third year of college studying in Tokyo, but this job also offered me the unique possibility of working for one of those foreign governments I had learned so much about. When I came to Koka, I found a world far different from Washington, D.C., or Tokyo. Living among the rice paddies and becoming something of a local celebrity, if only for the color of my eyes and my ability to speak Japanese, I find that there is much more to my job than I anticipated. Every month I visit elementary school children who will probably never even travel as far as Tokyo. For them, I am a connection to a larger world. I can tell them about places they will never see and introduce them to a culture far different from their own. I am living proof that there really are people out there who have blue eyes and curly hair. And if I can answer even the most naive questions of a child or a grandmother, I think my year here will have been worthwhile.
• Julianne Ams
(Foreign Affairs, Japanese ’04)
Japan Exchange and Teaching Program — Koka, Japan
Working as an International Teaching Fellow at a public boarding high school in Greece has afforded me opportunities I would have thought were mere fantasies a year ago. I was a liberal arts major in the true sense of the word, and I decided to venture off of the expected path of financial security. Though I am not accumulating any monetary fortune to speak of, I am having an unparalleled experience. I teach English, coach soccer, serve as a resident adviser and organize/chaperone field trips and special events. In addition to the routine classes of math and science, the American Farm School’s 250 students, who come from all over Greece and primarily from rural backgrounds, learn practical skills on a fully functional farm. My students frequently invite me to spend weekends and holidays with their families. The Greeks, though gruff at first, treat their guests like traveling royalty. Another U.Va. graduate and I went home with one freshman in October. Not only did his mother buy our tickets to and from their home hundreds of miles away, but she cooked huge meals for us, including a boar that she slaughtered especially for our visit, potatoes that she grew and grape liquor that she made herself. And — she had a fever of 102 degrees. Whether traipsing among 3,000-year-old ruins, learning traditional dances, or discussing religion with a particularly friendly Byzantine Orthodox priest (who also happens to be a master woodcarver and certified black belt), there is always something new and exciting to do. I’m glad that I broke away from the norms of consulting or immediate graduate school.
• Amos P. Davis
(Interdisciplinary — Philosophical Theology ’04)
American Farm School — Thessaloniki, Greece
With my love for creativity I knew I wanted to go into interior design; eventually I hope to combine my love of history and design and go into restoration design. What will get me to my final goal is not what I learned at U.Va. or in the field but a marriage of both. U.Va.’s focus was to teach its students how to be creative and set our own limits without someone dictating, “This is the project; now this is how you do it.” In the field the ability to think for yourself far outweighs knowing the technical skills. Don’t get me wrong; knowing computer-aided design and characteristics of various materials is very useful, but anybody can learn these. Not everyone has been trained to think creatively and above the system’s boundaries. I was privileged to be the student of the U.Va. art department’s Bogdan Achimescu.
• Sara Lovette
(Studio Art ’04)
Specialty Drapery — Richmond, Va.